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Sergeant major fish
Origin: Caribbean, Florida
Natural habitat: found up to 15 meters / 50 feet deep
600 L / 132 Imp Gal / 158 US Gal
T°: 23 to 24°C or 73 to 75°F
pH: 8.1 to 8.3
Density: 1021 to 1024
15 to 22cm (5.9 to 8.7")
7 to 10 years
Middle and depth
How to feed the Sergeant major fish?
The diet of this omnivorous fish must consist of meat and vegetable food. For the meat part, offer krill, mysis, artemia, cyclopses, small shrimps... The vegetable part will be provided by the contribution of spirulina.
Note that a varied, regular and abundant diet reduces the aggressiveness of individuals.
What kind of behavior does the Sergeant major fish have?
This species is active, territorial and aggressive (especially during the reproduction period when it becomes aggressive even towards its congeners). It should be noted that this bad temper gets worse with time. Far from being shy, you will be able to see them evolve in the aquarium without difficulty. At night, they like to take refuge in caves among the rocks to rest.
Very gregarious, they live in the wild in large groups. In captivity, it will need at least 5 congeners to feel at ease in its environment.
Who can live with the Sergeant major fish?
This fish can be extremely aggressive towards other species. A specific aquarium is preferable.
Community aquarium maintenance cannot be envisaged in very large aquariums and by respecting a few rules. For example, avoid associating them with other species that are too territorial, otherwise conflicts may arise. It is also useless to associate them with calm or shy species. Finally, beware of small fish that may end up as a meal...
How to breed the Sergeant major fish?
There is no particular season for the reproduction of this species. Reproduction is not done in pairs but the male reproduces with several consecutive females.
The male cleans the nesting surface (a flat rock for example) and attracts the female to it. The female lays her eggs there and the male fertilizes them in between. It is the male who guards the eggs fiercely and takes care of them (ventilation). On this occasion, he changes colour to dark blue. Incubation lasts 6 to 7 days.
Interesting fact: at birth, the young fish are always male. When they grow up, some will become females!
Which aquarium for the Sergeant major fish?
To calm down its aggressive temperament a little, plan a large aquarium in which it can exercise itself. For decoration, set up numerous hiding places in the rocks.
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There are species that are very close in physical proximity and with which it can be confused:
- Abudefduf sexfasciatus: very pronounced black bands on the tail fin.
- Abudefduf vaigiensis
- Abudefduf septemfasciatus: number of black stripes (Abudefduf saxatilis has 5 vs. 6 or 7 in septemfasciatus)
- Abudefduf sordidus: black spot on caudal peduncle
Abudefduf saxatilis difference
This fish is very robust and can be kept by beginner aquarists without any health problems. Far from being shy, they do not shy away easily at the sight of divers in their natural environment. On the contrary, they sometimes get close to it!
Tip: it can be quite difficult to find this fish in the classic aquarium trade. If you want to get some, get in touch with specialized clubs. In addition, you will be able to benefit from the advice of the breeders on their maintenance!
Its common name of "sergeant major" comes from its vertical stripes recalling the military rank of sergeant major.
There are more than 370 species of damselfish!
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